Whirlwind of Grace A Ministry Update from the Kertsons
These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. We had a pioneering specialist come out and hold a two day boot camp to help prepare our staff team of five to make an optimal impact on our campus. Two days later, freshman arrived and we spent the weekend connecting with San Diego State’s newest students. Our first Fall of “startup” ministry on campus was a little overwhelming, but we just kept reminding ourselves that it is God who does the real work, our job is pointing people toward what God is doing.
Our first weekend culminated in our first big welcome event on campus, “Freshman Mugging.” We had 100 freshman come get root beer floats (not to beat them up!). We made the event as intentional as possible to get those students who were interested in what Chi Alpha is about and to make sure we got to have meaningful conversations with those who came. We also have been canvasing the campus trying to get freshman to help us fight human trafficking by signing a letter to send to our California senators asking them to stand up against human trafficking from Washington, part of the International Justice Mission postcard initiative.
The rest of our time has been spent following up with those student we met through these outreaches and beginning to share Jesus with them and disciple them.
At our first weekly meeting on campus we had 20 people, a few of whom were new. We have been meeting outside on a lawn sitting on blankets because we have not been able to work out room space with the university yet. The amazing thing is that with every roadblock we face, we see God do even more amazing things. Our second weekly meeting, just Monday night, August 31, we had 30 people at our gathering. The highlight was certainly when one of the freshman we had connected with at freshman mugging brought her non-Christian friend to the worship gathering. This friend had grown up in family that practiced voodoo and since coming to San Diego State a week and a half ago she described that she had been experiencing demonic oppression that sounded pretty intense. After the message the two girls came back for prayer. Brandon prayed for her, but told her that only having Jesus in her life would give her complete victory over these demons. Brandon told her how much Jesus loved her, so much that he wanted to help her and that nothing, including demons could separate her from God’s love if she is in Christ Jesus. She said, she wanted to follow Jesus, so she started her new spiritual journey with Jesus on Monday August 31! There is nothing better than that!
It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s taking us deeper into God’s grace together.
Keeping Up With the Kertsons
The girls started school at the end of August. Peyton started 3rd grade and Amber started 1st grade. Eden will be starting her first year of preschool after Labor Day. Both Peyton and Amber are excelling in every area. Peyton has been showing here competitive side working hard and daily on her online math in order to stay on top of the leaderboard for the whole school. Amber is reading up a storm and knows three chords on the guitar (G, C, and Em).
Kendra started a new session of teaching with Christian Youth Theater. She is teaching a tap dance class that Peyton is in. Amber is doing the “Our Gang” class for 5-7 year olds which does basic musical theater.
Brandon’s Dad’s energy and spirits seem to have been greatly lifted in past few weeks. The scans that he has had done all look fairly positive. They are keeping him on the same chemo regimen just to be sure everything keeps going well.
We have been meeting on a grass lawn because we have had trouble with the university getting a meeting space. This has largely been due to a mixture of the difficulty we had becoming an official student group and the fact that they allow live sound in so few rooms to begin with. We have a strong lead for a space Monday nights. Pray it all stays on track for us to start meeting there September 14.
We have made some amazing connections with a number of awesome freshman. Pray for them to get connected and be discipled well. Our goal is to have at least 15 freshman connected to the ministry by the end of the year. Pray specifically for our Fall Retreat September 11-13. Called “Jesus and You” we are praying students will make a commitment to follow Jesus more deeply.
A number of students have been experiencing what can only be described as spiritual attacks. Pray for them to be strengthened and protected, but most of all to experience Jesus through these times. Overall, everyone is really encouraged still because we have been seeing God do such amazing things through it all!
April 10-12 we took 8 students God has brought to our ministry on a retreat to Big Bear (shout out to Bill and Candle Weaver and Summit Christian Fellowship for the amazing accommodations and hospitality!). God did more than we could have ever imagined, both in our individual hearts and in forming the DNA of the group as a whole. I have no doubt we will look back on this weekend as the beginning of something big for the future of Chi Alpha @ San Diego State. Rather than tell you about it myself, I thought I would simply copy and paste the Facebook comments of a few of the students who went as well as the video above made by one of our students. It’s amazing how they went from barely knowing each other to being best friends who are inviting others to be a part of the community.
“For those of you who don't know, I would love to introduce to you my SDSU family Chi Alpha. This group will be launching in the Fall of 2015 but already God is moving within this group from amazing events and small groups already in session. Contact me for more information.
Luke 24:30-31 -
When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.…
We have plenty of room for anyone to come join us at the dining table, where we will laugh, love, cry, and worship God together.”
— Jeffrey Mique
“This was SUCH an amazing weekend with the most hilarious, amazing, godly people!!! If you're interested, check out Chi Alpha at SDSU!! We're launching in Fall 2015, but right now we have small groups going and other events! God is moving and is going to continue to move through this group in awesome ways!”
— Emma Depuy
“I wish I could put into words how amazing this weekend was but I really can't. I barely knew them but after a few hours we already had tens of inside jokes and it felt like we were childhood friends. The only way I can possibly begin to describe how my life has been going as of late is that I am blessed beyond words.”
— Vanecia Martinez
Keeping Up With the Kertsons
Thanks so much for your prayers for Brandon’s Dad, Kevin. His surgery on the brain tumor was successful, but they did find out it was a glioblastoma, stage 4 cancer. Today he is starting a 6 week round or radiation and 3 months of chemotherapy. Continue to pray for his healing and the cancer not to come back.
Exactly 1 month after Brandon’s car was stolen it was found by the police in an alley in San Diego. It cost almost $300 to get it back from the impound lot, but that is way cheaper than a new car. Thanks again for your prayers!
The girls went back to school after two weeks of Spring break. It’s a little bittersweet. It was fun spending more time with them, but good to be back to our normal routine.
We had an amazing banquet on Saturday, April 25 with many of our supporters as well as new friends of our ministry. Thanks for all those who sponsored tables, brought friends to introduce to our ministry, and who came. It was a great celebration of what God has already done and what we know is in store.